Narendra Modi on Wednesday filed his nomination from the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat making a pitch for “good governance” and emphasising his links with the region.
63-year-old Modi filed his nomination after a roadshow that was attended by thousands of BJP workers and supporters, who thronged the city streets.
Symbolism was not lost as tea vendor Kiran Mahida and a member of city’s royal family Shubhanginidevi Raje-Gaekwad signed as supporters when Modi filed his papers.
Soon after filing the nomination, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate briefly addressed the media lauding the “suraj and sushasan” (good governannce) of Gaekwad dynasty, which had ruled Vadodara and described the region as his “karmbhoomi”.
“The name of Gakewads will be written in golden letters for good governance and welfare of the people….Vadodrara has been my ‘karmbhoomi’…. I am grateful to the people of Vadodara for the grand welcome they have accorded me. I have benefited immensely from the institutions established by the Gaekwads in Vadodara. I have got my primary education also in a school established by the Gaekwads,” he said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister also chose the occassion to make an appeal to voters to turn up in large numbers and put their stamp on the lotus symbol of BJP.
Madhusudan Mistry, AICC General Secretary and a close aide of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is contesting against Modi from this Lok Sabha seat, had filed his nomination papers on April 5.
Wednesday is the last day of filing of nomination forms in the state which will witness single phase poll on April 30 to elect representative for 26 Lok Sabha constituencies.
This is the first time Modi visited Vadodara constituency after selecting it as one of the two seats from from where he will contest. He is also contesting from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls on May 12.
Balkrishna Shukla, a sitting BJP MP, who vacated his Vadodara seat in favour of Modi, will file his papers as a dummy candidate.
Congress had fielded sitting MLA Ajay Rai against Modi from Varanasi while Arvind Kejriwal is contesting from there as AAP candidate.
Modi, who reached the city airport at 10 AM, drove straight to Kirti Stambh premises in Raopura locality, from where he led the ‘Vijay Vikas Yatra’, a road show, that passed through various parts of Vadoddara before ending up at the collectorate, where he filed his nomination papers.
Modi said that as the Chief Minister of Gujart, he recommends to the officers of IAS, IPS and IFS, who are on probation, to read the book “Minor Hints” on Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.
“The good governance vision of Gaekwad is an inspiration for us even today….I was born in Vadnagar, which was part of the Gaekwad state,” he told reporters.
Modi recalled that he once used to live just 200 steps away from the place where he filed his nomination and said he is happy that he has now got chance to work for the people.